Eric Jorgensen, a friend of mine, got some much deserved recognition for a software tool he's been working on that allows his kids to imitate their dad and play in front of a computer. From the New York Times article For Toddlers, Toy of Choice Is Tech Device:Eric Jorgensen, a programmer at Microsoft, has invented PixelWhimsy, a computer program that allows toddlers to sit at a regular computer and bang away on the keys to create sounds and colors and shapes, but without damaging the computer.Asmin Jalis, who also works at Microsoft and whose 2-year-old boy, Ibrahim, has been using PixelWhimsy, said his son liked it better than his toy computer. "We have a toy laptop for him, and he knows it's a fake," he said.From the PixelWhimsy website:PixelWhimsy is a software toy. It is essentially a painting program with hundreds of unusual features to discover. It's simple enough for a baby to use (just pound the keyboard), but complex enough that an adult can have hours of fun too. It's good for kids because it emphasizes learning, exploration, creation, and collaborative play. It's good for the computer because little children cannot accidentally exit the program and delete this year's taxes. It's good for adults because it's fun and interesting for them as well. So, if anyone has kids that just can't be stopped from banging on your laptop -- just like you do -- give PixelWhimsy a try.